The Botanist in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, has been named as the best pub in the UK, having secured the top accolade at last night’s National Pub & Bar Awards.
The venue, which was praised for its great food, interesting drinks and flawless service, was also one of 12 pubs to be announced as the best in their region.
The winners were heralded at the second annual National Pub & Bar Awards, which was once again held at BAFTA, London, on 23 May. Celebrating and championing the UK pub and bar industry, the theatre-style event was hosted by the BBC’s Nigel Barden.
“To come to London and get this award is pretty special for us,” says Matt Bamber, operations director at New World Trading Company, which owns The Botanist brand. “When we took over the Sheffield site about 18 months ago, it was just a shell and it had been empty for quite a while. How could we make this special? For any venue upstairs, you have to have a wow factor – we’ve got that in Newcastle and definitely in Sheffield. People are coming back because they know it’s a special place, a little hideaway at the top of four flights of stairs.
“The team deliver every day, day in day out. All of our sites are all about the people – we look after our guys and they look after the guests. We develop them, we mentor them and coach them as much as we can and they reap the rewards. We’re really happy. Let’s get the champagne out!”
There were 94 pubs and bars represented at the awards, and each one had been announced previously as the best in their county. From these, 12 Regional Winners were selected and an overall National Winner was crowned.
In addition, Rachel Doherty of The Botanist in Newcastle won the Outstanding Service Award, sponsored by Britvic.
The winner in the East Midlands was The Hockley Arts Club in Nottingham, while the East of England award went to Galvin Green Man in Chelmsford. In London, the prize was taken by The Trading House, while in the North East it was The Botanist in Newcastle, marking a successful evening for The New World Trading Company, which runs both venues.
The North West Pub of the Year was The Cholmondeley Arms in Cholmondeley. In Northern Ireland, it was Belfast’s Northern Whig that triumphed, while the Scottish crown went to The Old Mill Inn in Pitlochry.
The Pub of the Year in the South East was The Bell in Ticehurst, while the winning pub in the South West was The Anchor Inn in Seatown. The Bell in Skenfrith was the Welsh winner, while The George Townhouse in Shipston-on-Stour took the regional title in the West Midlands.
Finally, the Yorkshire and the Humber winner was The Botanist in Sheffield, with the team returning to the stage to accept the National Pub & Bar of the Year award from Pub & Bar editor Tristan O’Hana.
“Not only are the New World Trading Company’s teams trained to the highest of standards, but the food, drink and design across the group are also at the top level of on-trade excellence,” says O’Hana. “During a time when social media holds such a vast amount of sway over customers, The Botanist’s look and produce is gold dust for the happy instagramers of this world. Pretty plates are just as likely to be snapped as the intricate touches that make up the bar’s design – guests practically market the venue themselves. When you have a service that has the ability to overshadow all of that, you know you’re dealing with the UK’s best.”
The National Pub & Bar Awards 2017 – Regional Winners
East Midlands – The Hockley Arts Club, Nottingham
East of England – Galvin Green Man, Chelmsford
London – The Trading House, City of London
North East – The Botanist, Newcastle
North West – The Cholmondeley Arms, Cholmondeley
Northern Ireland – The Northern Whig, Belfast
Scotland – The Old Mill Inn, Pitlochry
South West – Anchor Inn, Seatown
South East – The Bell, Ticehurst
Wales – The Bell at Skenfrith, Skenfrith
West Midlands – The George Townhouse, Shipston-on-Stour
Yorkshire and the Humber – The Botanist, Sheffield